David Braun


David Braun is the founder and CEO of Capstone Strategic and author of Successful Acquisitions: A Proven Plan for Growth. His specialty is helping companies grow through acquisition.

Through consistent focus on this one specialty, David has built up a formidable expertise that has led to an acquisition success rate way beyond the industry average.

David Braun is a sought-after educator who has been teaching senior executives and financial professionals for over 21 years. His live seminars and online webinars are in high demand, and his blog is widely read by M&A professionals, business owners and all who wish to understand the dynamics of growth through company acquisition.


Pathways to Growth

Five Pathways to Growth

As you focus your attention on the growth of your company, there are five key pathways to consider: Grow Organically Exit the Market Be the Low-Cost Provider Do Nothing Pursue External Growth Before you even start planning an acquisition, remember there are other growth options available. It is an important realization that you do have […]

Market Criteria, Market Research

Markets First

I always emphasize to my clients the critical value of painstaking market research and selection before considering individual prospects. Simply by conducting thorough research, you immediately separate yourself from the majority of company buyers and place yourself at an important competitive advantage. Choosing Market Criteria Choosing the correct market criteria may be tricky. Here are […]

Cultural Integration Publicis Omnicom

Publicis-Omnicom Merger May Face Cultural Integration Challenges

The merger between two advertising giants Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group has caused quite a stir. The two companies combined to form Publicis Omnicom Group would have stock-market value of $35.1 billion, making this the largest advertising merger ever. Although Chief Executive Maurice Levy and CEO John Wren both stress this is a “merger of […]

Recent Posts

Marissa Mayer of Yahoo Buys Tumblr

Will Yahoo Take A Tumble?

Yesterday Yahoo announced its plans to buy Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash, which has really grabbed people’s attention. Marissa Mayer has made about 10 acquisitions since becoming CEO in July 2012, as part of her overall plan to make Yahoo part of our everyday routines.  This is her biggest investment yet. Did Yahoo Overpay […]

Why American Greetings is Going Private

At the beginning of April, American Greetings announced it was going private after being publicly traded since 1958. American Greetings has seen increased competition from both traditional competitors, like Hallmark, and from new competition, like social media. Here are the top three strategic advantages I see for American Greetings going private. 1)      Shed Costs Going private the […]

Mergers and Acquisitions Negotiation Tactics

Capstone Webinar: Successful Negotiation Tactics

Do you have what it takes to get the deal done? Successful negotiation during an acquisition demands a breadth of business awareness and informed understanding of the many dimensions of M&A. Join me this Friday, May 17 for a webinar on Successful Negotiation Tactics. Learn to negotiate for what you want while protecting your relationship […]

Pearson Candy Buys Bit-O-Honey

A Sweet Deal: Pearson Candy Co. Buys Nestle’s Bit-O-Honey Brand

On May 1, Pearson Candy Co., a regional candy manufacturer headquartered in St. Paul, bought one of Nestle’s smaller brands, Bit-O-Honey. The company plans to manufacture Bit-O-Honey at its existing plant in St. Paul along with regional favorites like the Salted Nut Roll. When people think of acquisition, they often think of highly publicized megadeals […]

Google Acquires Minority Stake in Lending Club

Lending Club: Why Google Is Settling for Minority Ownership

Last week Google acquired a minority stake in consumer loan company Lending Club.  The exact amount Google invested was not disclosed, but it was part of a $125 million round of financing for the Lending Club. Lending Club is an online company that uses technology to match borrowers with lenders. Since its inception in 2007, […]

Common Mistakes in Acquisition

Five Common Mistakes Made During an Acquisition (And How You Can Avoid Them)

About 77% of company acquisitions fail. Don’t let that number scare you off from an acquisition. Based on my observations as an M&A consultant, I’ve found most acquisitions fail due to widespread misunderstandings of the process. Head over to the ACG National Capital Blog to read my list of some of the most common mistakes […]

Apple Borrows Cash

Apple Borrows Cash

Yesterday, Apple sold $17 billion in debt offering to investors, the largest corporate-bond deal in history. Apple’s first debt-offering in over 20 years is part of its plan to return $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015. This plan is a response to pressure put on Apple to use their excess cash hoard […]

Committing to Research

Committing to Research: Primary vs. Secondary Research

Research is essential to the success of any business plan, including acquisition. The demand-driven, “markets first” acquisition process that I advocate requires thorough research. Only thorough research uncovers the most appropriate markets, helps you identify the best prospects, and sets you apart from other potential buyers. There are two levels of research to consider: primary […]

Acquisition Team

Acquisition: A Team Sport

Throughout my blog I’ve stressed the importance of carefully planning your business strategy. While planning is important, your plan to buy, no matter how well crafted, is only as good as the people who execute it. Acquisition is a team sport for two reasons. Practically speaking, buying a company involves multiple skills—more than any single […]

Successful First Meeting with Owners

Capstone Webinar – “The First Date”: Contacting Owners & Successful First Meetings

Here is a thought that many miss when they embark on an acquisition process: There is an inherent asymmetry in acquisition that puts the buyer and seller on different planes. You can buy companies over and over again, but the owner can sell his company only once. Though you, the buyer, may be taking significant […]

Know Your Risk Tolerance

Know Your Risk Profile

When you think about your company’s growth, ask yourself, “What is our risk tolerance?” The answer is key to formulating your strategy.  You cannot succeed with a plan for growth that pushes too far beyond the level of risk that is acceptable in your company. If you are the sole owner, the level of risk […]

David Braun with his new book, Successful Acquisitions, at Barnes & Noble

Thank you for helping me launch Successful Acquisitions!

Thank you for helping me launch my new book, Successful Acquisitions. Yesterday’s launch webinar was a huge success.  A special thank you to Jon Ward and Bob Nirkind from AMACOM, the publisher of Successful Acquisitions, for participating in the webinar. My hope is that you will use the book to develop your own acquisition strategy and have […]

Successful Acquisitions -- Book Launch Webinar

Successful Acquisitions – Book Launch Webinar!

Mark your calendars for April 10th! It’s the official launch date for my new book Successful Acquisitions. To celebrate Successful Acquisitions, I’ll be hosting a free, live webinar. This is your chance to hear about the inspiration for writing Successful Acquisitions and ask me questions about the book. I’m excited to hear from you and […]

LOI Agreement

The Letter of Intent: A Gentleman’s Agreement

The Letter of Intent is more than a document in the acquisition process—it’s a milestone. The LOI serves as an important legal document, but it also brings a new level of commitment and resolve to the deal. I would caution against leaving the LOI to the “experts”. Although you are deep into the acquisition process […]

The Opportunity Matrix

Your Opportunity Matrix: Dropbox Acquires Mailbox

The key to growth is future demand. Any acquisition you consider needs to take this factor into account. There are multiple ways to look at demand, and it’s essential to know which one is most appropriate for your company.  I use a simple but powerful tool I call the Opportunity Matrix. It’s a way of […]

Making First Contact with Owners

Making First Contact with an Owner

Making first contact with an owner and important step in the acquisition process. It is your opportunity to get your foot in the door and start a positive relationship that could lead to acquisition. So, how do you go about contacting owners? In my post for the ACG National Capital Blog I outline how to initiate […]

Negotiation Take Notes

Negotiation: Take Notes!

I cannot overemphasize the importance of writing everything down during negotiations. Once an item has been discussed and decided upon, have someone from each party initial the notes to confirm the completion. Maintaining a written record helps to keep everyone on the same page. Without such a record, you run the danger of having two […]

Questions for Negotiation with an Acquisition Prospect

Six Key Questions in Negotiation

Before you enter negotiation with an acquisition prospect, there are six key questions you and your acquisition team should answer: 1) What is the “big picture”? The key here is to have just one strategic reason for acquisition that you developed at the beginning of the acquisition process. 2) What elements of the “owner’s equation” […]

Striking a balance in negotiation

Striking a Balance in Negotiation

When approaching negotiation for an acquisition, it’s essential to establish the right mindset from the start. You should strike a balance between negotiating firmly on the one hand and protecting your relationship with the acquisition prospect on the other. Any potential deal suffers tremendously when the parties become combative. You can be a tough negotiator […]

Pick Up the Phone

Personal connection matters, especially when it comes to the first connection with an owner of an acquisition prospect. This first connection is a decisive step.  Handled correctly, it can initiate a positive relationship that may eventually lead to union. Handled poorly, that one phone call can terminate your opportunity to buy. When initiating contact with […]